Friday, July 31, 2015

Hector Berlioz Will Live Into the 24th Century

We know this because a few minutes into Star Trek: First Contact, Jean-Luc Picard, far from home, is listening to Ryland Davies sing "Vallon sonore."

h/t Steve Hicken for pointing this out to me.


Robert Gordon said...

This moment is much discussed among Star Trek obsessives, I think because the music gets under their skin in ways they aren't used to. The right kind of search will turn up people trying to identify the piece who otherwise have no contact with classical music and so don't quite know how to pose the question. There's usually someone who has checked the credits and can provide the answer, but all it seems to mean to them is that Picard is the sort of person who listens to opera -- they don't get as far as noticing that he's a homesick sailor listening to another homesick sailor.

mountmccabe said...

See also the Voyager episode Barge of the Dead, B'Elanna Torres dreams/hallucinates the Doctor announcing that he will sing an aria from Berlioz's Faust (in an episode written by Bryan Fuller and Ronald D Moore), though we don't actually get to hear it.

We do get to hear him sing in several other episodes, though!

Henry Holland said...

Classical music is a central plot point in a bunch of movies. I'm a big fan of Van Johnson, the other day I watched a silly bit of fun with him and June Allyson called Too Young To Kiss. Synopsis:

Eric Wainwright (Van Johnson), a busy impresario, is besieged by hordes of wannabe concert stars, eager for their big break. One of them is Cynthia Potter (June Allyson), a talented pianist, but she can't get in to see him. When she learns that Wainwright is auditioning young musicians for a children's concert tour, Cynthia dons braces and bobby sox and passes herself off as a child prodigy

She plays the wonderful Grieg piano concerto, June Allyson does a really good job mimicking the playing. Usually in these kinds of movies, we never see the pianists hands, but in this they don't stint on that. A nice well-written and acted bit of fluff, Van Johnson takes his shirt off a few times (woof!), it all ends happily, a good time was had by some.

Henry Holland said...

Lisa, I'm sure you read about this as your prepare to go to Germany, but just in case:

Lisa Hirsch said...

Voyager is my least favorite of the later Star Trek versions, mainly because the captain goes so far wrong in the very first episode, in a way that is more or less dereliction of duty, however humanitarian her impulse was, and, well, they worked out the story line poorly.

Yes, there are some films with good classical music plot lines. I might rent Diva again some day, although, you know, Wiggins-Fernandex, just not a great singer.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Rob, yes: such is the way of Star Trek obsessives, alas. The recording doesn't even sound so good on the soundtrack, alas...It is a lovely choice of music for that moment.